Internet traffic is growing fast. More people are making use of wireless devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Cisco predicts in its Visual Networking Index that Internet traffic from these devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2014. Moreover, peak Internet traffic is growing more rapidly than average traffic. Cisco’s index reports that peak traffic will increase nearly fivefold by 2016. These developments put a large pressure on the capacity of IP networks. For organizations already dealing with high amounts of Internet traffic (such as a hosting provider), a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) connection to an Internet exchange is a good solution.
However, networks that (want to) make use of ten or more 10GE connections at an Internet exchange, do not always replace these with one 100GE connection. So let’s take a closer look at the advantages of 100GE.
LeaseWeb was one of the first parties to establish a 100GE connection at the AMS-IX - just like they were one of the first members to use a 10GE line at the exchange back in 2005. An important reason for them to select a 100GE connection instead of adding more 10GE connections is the improved bandwidth utilization. A 100GE line allows ten times more traffic to flow through one line than through one 10GE. As a result, the latency decreases and Internet performance improves considerably.
The 100GE line also allows organizations to more quickly increase their capacity. This is particularly convenient when, for example, a website’s traffic grows with unexpected rapidity. At the same time, the improved scalability makes the connection easier to manage for the network engineers, because they do not need to add an extra 10GE line every time they want to increase capacity. The 100GE connection already supports more capacity from the onset, and (at least for now) offers enough bandwidth.
Last but certainly not least is the decrease in costs. You pay less for a 100GE connection than when you use 10 or more 10GE ports. It could even save you a considerable amount of money at full capacity, which is money that can then be used for other purposes.
Change in our industry doesn’t always happen overnight. We have experienced that the uptake of certain port types can take some time. Besides a lack of knowledge of the benefits of a 100GE port, the high costs of the essential equipment (and the optics in this equipment) could be another reason for the slow uptake of 100GE ports. Due to the fact these costs are declining we predict that more organizations will transfer to one or more 100GE ports in the future.
By Pauline Hartsuiker, AMS-IX